A private legal practitioner who is suing Western Publications Limited, publishers of DAILY GUIDE and its directors for libel was thrown out of the Supreme Court on Monday.
A five-member panel presided over by the incoming Chief Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo dismissed Benony Tony Amekudzi’s application by way of certiorari that sought to re-instate two of the respondents in the substantive action he is pursuing from the High Court.
He wanted the Supreme Court to quash the High Court’s decision that the names of the 3rd respondent who Mr Amekudzi claims is a director of Western Publications Limited and 5th respondent DAILY GUIDE should be struck out of the suit but the highest court dismissed the application and also awarded GH¢2,000 cost against the applicant.
On May 5, 2015 the defendant’s lawyer Eric Osei-Mensah moved two different motions before the Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice R.B. Batu arguing that the 3rd respondent was not a necessary party to the suit and also that DAILY GUIDE was not a legal entity and therefore, the two defendants were not proper parties to the suit.
He had sued Mr. Freddie Blay in his capacity as Chief Executive although his (Amekudzi’s) own search at the Registrar General’s Department showed that Mr. Blay holds no such position.
The defence lawyer was also able to demonstrate to the High Court that DAILY GUIDE, having no legal capacity could neither sue nor be sued.
The court then, accepted the defendant counsel’s argument and accordingly struck out the names of 3rd respondent and DAILY GUIDE from the main action, leaving Western Publications Limited, a Director and Raphael Ofori Adeniran, a reporter who had written the story Mr. Amekudzi claimed was libelous in the suit.
Instead of going to the Supreme Court to quash the High Court’s decision by way of Certiorari, Mr. Amekudzi rather decided to petition the Chief Justice on July 8, 2015 over the High Court’s decision and the Chief Justice responded on July 31, 2015 by directing that he should resort to the court processes.
As a result, Mr. Amekudzi filed a motion for certiorari on March 30, 2017 at the Supreme Court seeking to quash the High Court’s decision because he insisted that 3rd respondent and DAILY GUIDE are necessary parties to the substantive action and on April 29, 2017, moved his application.
The court in dismissing his action held that Mr. Amekudzi’s application offended Rule 62 of C.I. 16 which required him to file such an application within 90 days after the High Court’s decision was taken.
According to the panel, Mr. Amekudzi’s application that had stayed two years before being presented before the court was definitely out of time.
The court held that per Rule 66, Mr. Amekudzi was supposed to have sought leave within the 90 days but failed to do so.
By William Yaw Owusu